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Radford, Arthur

Radford, Arthur (1896–1973), World War II admiral and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).Born in Chicago, Arthur Radford graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1916. Following his designation as a naval aviator in 1920, Radford was assigned to a variety of aviation‐related positions in the interwar years.

From 1941 until 1943, he served as director of aviation training in the Bureau of Aeronautics. In this assignment, Radford skillfully directed a program of intensive expansion of all phases of naval aviation training that enabled the U.S. Navy to fulfill its enormous requirement for combat pilots. Other wartime assignments included command in combat of two different aircraft carrier divisions.

In 1947, Radford was selected by chief of naval operations Louis E. Denfeld to be vice chief of naval operations. He quickly gained a reputation as naval aviation's staunchest defender against attacks from other services. In 1949, while serving as commander in chief, Pacific and Pacific Fleet, Radford spearheaded the navy's testimony before the House Armed Services Committee in the so‐called Revolt of the Admirals. Although this incident put a temporary cloud over his career, he continued to serve ably throughout the Korean War as the unified commander in the Pacific.

Having impressed President‐elect Dwight D. Eisenhower and incoming Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson during their visit to the Pacific in 1952, Radford was appointed the second chairman of the JCS in 1953. In his four years as chairman, Radford served as a strong supporter of Eisenhower's “New Look” defense policy, which relied upon the threat of nuclear weapons to deter Soviet actions while holding down requirements for larger U.S. conventional forces.

Radford retired from active duty in 1957. He died in 1973. A thoughful proponent of military preparedness, Radford served ably in positions of increasing trust during World War II and the first decade of the Cold War.
[See also Bradley, Omar N.; Lemnitzer, Lyman.]

Bibliography

Stephen Jurika, Jr., ed., From Pearl Harbor to Vietnam: The Memoirs of Admiral Arthur W. Radford, 1980.
Jeffrey G. Barlow , Revolt of the Admirals: The Fight for Naval Aviation, 1945–1950, 1994.

Jeffrey G. Barlow

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Radford

Radford, city (1990 pop. 15,940), surrounded by but independent of Pulaski and Montgomery counties, SW Va., on the New River; settled 1756, inc. as a city 1892. Motors, iron castings, clothing and textiles, and paper products are among the city's manufactures. Radford Univ. is there. Jefferson National Forest and an army ammunition plant are nearby.

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